How to go vegan
Going vegan is easy. Maybe it’s too easy to write a post about. But some people find it hard, or maybe better said, think they’ll find it hard.
I’d like to challenge you to just do it for thirty days – just thirty days, and then you can go straight back to eating meat and animal products if you so desire. You’ll find it way easier than you thought — promise.
Changing tastes is a simple matter of changing what you eat. What you used to crave you can forget and start craving other things. It doesn’t take too long, either. You just need a bit of effort to start – then it’s autopilot. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will be hard forever. The difficulty is mostly in your own head.
There are meat, cheese and milk substitutes around which you can buy if you need a psychological fix. I’ll also write recipes for some of these up here later on. I drink my tea with oat milk or coconut milk, which I think both taste better than cow milk. You can find substitute milks in health food shops.
(Soy, by the way, is not very healthy, though it’s better in my opinion than animal foods. There are a lot of animal food alternatives even without soy though. Have it if you like in any case, take it one step at a time, going vegan is a huge step you can be proud of, no matter what you eat when you are vegan).
How to cook vegan
You’ll need to learn to cook vegan, but that’s way easier than you might imagine, and I think it’s more fun and creative than cooking with meat, too. Just subscribe to this blog and check out all of the healthy and delicious recipes I put up. Surf the net and find other recipe blogs, too.
I know there are some people who eat mostly meat with some potatoes or something on the side. Well, a vegan eats mostly starch, usually – rice, bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, noodles, pasta, sweetcorn, the options are endless. Vegetables add flavour and interesting tastes and textures, while spices and herbs are your friend to add more flavour. The difference between a good dish and an awesome dish is often in the balance of the herbs and spices, and it’s not that hard to get to know these.
Now I think we all have a desire for something a bit dense/proteiny in our food, which meat normally fulfils. I use mainly nuts and legumes. Get to know them; they are your new friends… and they are so damn healthy you won’t believe it! Try making a rice dish with nuts in it or frying up cubes of potato with cumin and peas (just a recipe I invented off the top of my head… sounds great! 🙂
There are many more varieties of legumes and nuts than there are varieties of meat. Start off with a couple which you like a lot as your staple and get exploring. Very simple easy meals consist of a starch with a protein, and some vegetables and herbs and spices for flavour. That’s the basis of a lot of recipes on this site.
Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of possible nuts and seeds to try making recipes with:
Sesame seeds (try tahini, which is sesame seed butter)
Peanuts (like soy, not so healthy, but a benefit for begginning vegans is that it has an intense, almost meaty flavour. Try them in a rice dish!)
Olives and avocados, while not being nuts, are fat-protein foods and scratch that same “itch” 😀
Here are some legumes you can get into. You can try sprouting most of them, too. This makes them cook as easily as a normal vegetable, and healther. Otherwise all of these except lentils and fresh (frozen) peas need soaking for 6 hours and about an hour of cooking.
…And many more. Just go to a health food shop and have a look around. It’s fun to explore! 🙂
Meat is a strong flavour, and I think a lot of cooks get lazy with their cooking because of that. You can have a lot more variety in your meals when you start looking for new ways of making things interesting than meat.
Your tastes will change so that you’ll become more sensitive to the slightly subtler flavours of vegetables, fruit and nuts, as well. You’ll enjoy food more – I promise you. Meat and cheese are overstimulation.
But you will not stop wanting strong flavours. As I already mentioned, get to know herbs and spices. They are so important.
Legumes, especially lentils, chickpeas, and broad beans, have a great strong flavour that rivals the intensity of meat.
Then try exploring these strong flavoured foods in your cooking:
Seaweed (sea spaghetti and nori have nice fishy flavours. Wakame is subtler but also delicious)
Hoi sin sauce
Fermented black beans
Check out Andrew’s other site, Lightworkers‘ Connection, if you consider yourself to be a highly conscious individual. You know there is more to life than meets the eye. You are not alone.